"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Benvenito a Lucca, the sweetest little Italian town, where people ride bikes and enjoy pizza in the piazza. Chianti country. Bikes everywhere. Serious rain showers. And the best grocery I have ever visited. My host looks like an Italian movie star, my apartment is nice and perfetto, and the trains are within walking distance. Today, I am going to Pisa, to visit the terme, or hot springs, as they are good for my body! I had delicious pizza in the piazza citadella last night, while watching Italia play Uruguay in the World Cup. Bene!

Monday, June 23, 2014

La cucina

Ok. Venice is wicked expensive. But, going to the local grocery and public market at Rialto was worth it, and relatively affordable. I did get yelled at by some mask wearing people who require payment for photo taking... I did not have 2 euros, only 60 cents... Got yelled at.

Tonight, I am making fried zucchini with us dried tomatoes. For antipasti I had salami and olives, with a little provolone. Delicious. And excellent local cab sauv.  Plus local chocolate... I only eat lunch to seems. Or one meal a day. It is quite nice! And you can walk around with your wine at night. Rad.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Everyone is tall and beautiful in Holland.

After sitting at the Minne Bar in Minneapolis, some angel gave me his first class seat to Amsterdam! I was treated like a princess! Wine, cheese, good food, blankets, awesome bed-chair... All in all, a lovely experience. Unfortunately,my phone won't work, but I have wifi.  

I randomly met someone from Dillon, MT, in a cafe in this airport here. He is attending his brothers wedding in Hamburg. His wife is also a writer! And he teaches college math. So cool.

And finally, everyone from here--holland-- is tall and beautiful. Never been around so many tall people!  One more hour here and then I fly to Warsaw, where I will quick shower and then walk around for a bit before collapsing!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

C'est gratuit!

In America, it's rude to not tip your server, hotel maid, taxi driver... It goes on and on. In Europe? "C'est gratuit"... Meaning, it's weird to get more than a euro for a tip, it's included in the price, etc.

I have rented a bike, which will be delivered to my house in France. And the man says "no problem"! About possibly changing my pedals, etc. I love Europeans. I just wish I could bring friends.


Monday, June 9, 2014

In 8 days, I will board a plane for Poland! My great-grandfather, Stanislas Rublewski emigrated to America in 1910, after living in what is now Vilnius, Lithuania. Lots and lots of border changes later, Vilnius was at one time Belarus, another time Poland, and is now Lithuania. I am going to be somewhat near where the Rubels, who were then Rublewskis, lived.  

I will spend a coupleof days in Warsaw, visiting the ghetto and other WWII relics, before taking the train to Cracow, where life will surely get sad but real. I will visit Auschwitz, the salt mines, and many beautiful churches. I hope to capture much of the experience here on this blog!

8 days. 

Can't believe it!